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Venice
Posted by Rev. Jeff Dixon, Senior Equipping Minister at Covenant Community Church on Jan 2, 2002, 20:00

 

If you ever go to Venice, it will only take you a second to notice that someone accidentally built the town underwater. The place is literally in a lagoon. I was wondering if it were was an architectural wonder or just plain idiotic. So I cranked up the CCC Information Staff and the search for the answer was on. Upon closer examination we see that those clever Venetians built beautiful churches and plazas but no one ever thought about installing a sewer system. It seems that human waste is dumped directly into the canals to be carried out to the sea by the tide. (I donít think this was an effort to help save people money on their utility bills.) The more you find out about Venice the crazier the story gets.

History tells us that in the beginning of the Dark Ages the barbarians had overrun the Roman Empire and some Northern Italians sought refuge along the thirty-two mile long lagoon on the northwest end of the Adriatic Sea. When the coastal marshes got too buggy and nasty to live, they moved into the patches of seventeen mud flats in the center of the lagoon. This unusual location had several advantages. It worked very well for a port. Because of its location it allowed the settlers to be the middleman in the trading industry. It was such a bizarre place for a town that no new people wanted to live there. The end result was that Venice became an independent city-state and a great trading empire.

Since then it has sunk several feet into the mud. The buildings are crumbling as the result of water rot. The lagoon doesnít flush well anymore and it gets choked by algae. A few summers ago, the entire city was infested with a terrible insect problem. As the insects died they decomposed, and smelled awful as they floated in the water. Now the Italian government wants to spend billions of dollars on floodgates to keep back the sea during storms. Buildings are going to have to be redone and something is going to have to occur to get the water to flow correctly through the canal system. In other words they have a big mess on their hands.

When Venice was built, no one ever thought that this would occur, and unfortunately as time went by there was very little attention paid to the signs that indicated that some maintenance was needed. In our spiritual lives we need to do a little maintenance check from time to time to keep our spiritual canals flowing smoothly and our foundations from getting water rot and crumbling. Take a moment in the days ahead and run though a checklist: Do you spend time daily in the Word of God, not only reading but studying? Are you spending time in prayer with the Heavenly Father developing an intimacy with Him? Are you making it a priority to spend time with the family of God in fellowship and worship? Are you using the gifts that He gives you in the proper way they were intended? (To strengthen the Body of Christ and to impact the world for Jesus)

These are just a few things that you can do to keep yourself in good spiritual condition. The list really isnít negotiable and you donít have the luxury of picking and choosing those items that you like best. These are Biblical instructions for the people of God. If you donít do them you will find that you are out of balance, frustrated, angry, empty, paranoid, defeated, oppressed, depressed and suffering from plagues, pestilence, and psoriasis. Actually I am kidding about some of those things, but if you are out of balance spiritually you wonít be a whole lot of fun to be around. The reason is that you will be suffering from spiritual water rot. Relax, there is good news, the condition doesnít have to be permanent. You can get back on track by getting back to doing the things that the Bible tells us to do.

My prayer for you is the same as I have for me, that we would be in good health spiritually.






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